They couldn't find a hostess with the mostess, but the Tony Awards do have a number of stars lined up as presenters for the June 6 event, starting at 8 PM on PBS and continuing 9-11 PM on CBS.
Among the notables set to appear are nominees Kevin Spacey, Brian Dennehy and Stockard Channing, as well as Jason Robards, Carol Burnett (due this-coming season in Putting it Together), David Hyde Pierce, Scott Wolf and Rosie O'Donnell. The latter is especially unexpected, since O'Donnell declined the opportunity to host the Tonys this year, citing an onerous work schedule.
Executive Producer Walter C. Miller said in a statement that this year's Tonys would open with a "special musical number" and, though hostless, group together presenters linked by their "theatrical ties."
As in past years, all the musical nominees will get to do a production number on the broadcast -- including Parade, which closed months ago. A Carolee Carmello and Brent Carver duet from Parade is expected, as are tunes from The Civil War, Fosse, It Ain't Nothin' But The Blues, as well as numbers from the revivals Annie Get Your Gun (a duet for Bernadette Peters and Tom Wopat), Peter Pan (with Cathy Rigby), You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown and Little Me (with Martin Short). The latter musical also closed earlier in the season.
Segments devoted to the Tony-nominated new plays Side Man, Not About Nightingales, The Lonesome West and Closer will be shown on the CBS telecast, though Tony spokespersons weren't yet clear how the non-musicals would be represented on the CBS brodcast. Actual clips from the shows will be shown on the PBS hour. Ten Awards will be given out during the Public Television hour, which will also feature interviews with such nominees as Elizabeth Franz, Ann Reinking, Harold Prince and Matthew Bourne.
The Tony nominations for the 1998-99 season were announced at Sardi's restaurant on the morning of May 3. The annual Tony Award Nominees Brunch took place at the Marriot Marquis's Astor Ballroom, May 12.
Parade tops the nominees list with nine nominations, including nods for best musical, best score, best book, and its two stars, Brent Carver and Carolee Carmello. The Bob Fosse revue, Fosse, was also nominated for best musical. Death of the Salesman and Not About Nightingales both garnered six nods.
Actress Uta Hagen, playwright Arthur Miller, American Theatre Wing chairman Isabelle Stevenson and Fool Moon will receive special Tonys. The regional theater Tony Award will go to Crossroads Theatre of New Brunswick, NJ.
Among productions of note to not receive a Tony nod -- no David Hare play (including Blue Room, Via Dolorosa, and Amy's View) was nominated for Best New Play. Also, despite being the longest running new musical of the season, Footloose was not among those up for best new musical. Other perceived "snubs" this year included the omissions of Lea DeLaria (On The Town) and Nicole Kidman (The Blue Room).
The Tony Awards will be held Sunday, June 6, at the Gershwin Theater. The show will begin at 8 PM (broadcast, for the third year in a row, on PBS-TV) and continue from 9-11 PM, broadcast on CBS TV. Though relations between Tony co-producers the American Theater Wing and the League of American Theatres & Producers had long been rancorous, they recently patched things up and signed a new contract reaching to 2004. CBS, also, has renewed its contract for the Tonys through that year.
A complete list of nominations follows:
Best New Musical:
The Civil War
It Ain't Nothing But the Blues
Best Revival of a Musical:
Annie Get Your Gun
You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown
Best Book of a Musical
Footloose, Dean Pitchford & Walter Bobbie
It Ain't Nothin' but the Blues, Charles Bevel, Lita Gaithers, Randal Myler, Ron Taylor & Dan Wheetman
Marlene, Pam Gems
Parade, Alfred Uhry
Best Original Score
Footloose, Tom Snow, Eric Carmen, Dean Pitchford, Sammy Hagar, Kenny Loggins & Jim Steinman
Parade, Jason Robert Brown
The Civil War, Frank Wildhorn & Jack Murphy
Twelfth Night, Jeanine Tesori
Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play
Brian Dennehy, Death of a Salesman
Brían O'Byrne, The Lonesome West
Corin Redgrave, Not About Nightingales
Kevin Spacey, The Iceman Cometh
Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical
Brent Carver, Parade
Adam Cooper, Swan Lake
Martin Short, Little Me
Tom Wopat, Annie Get Your Gun
Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical
Carolee Carmello, Parade
Dee Hoty, Footloose
Bernadette Peters, Annie Get Your Gun
Siân Phillips, Marlene
Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play
Kevin Anderson, Death of a Salesman
Finbar Lynch, Not About Nightingales
Howard Witt, Death of a Salesman
Frank Wood, Side Man
Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play
Claire Bloom, Electra
Samantha Bond, Amy's View
Dawn Bradfield, The Lonesome West
Elizabeth Franz, Death of a Salesman
Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical
Roger Bart, You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown
Desmond Richardson, Fosse
Ron Taylor, It Ain't Nothin' but the Blues
Scott Wise, Fosse
Best Scenic Design
Bob Crowley, The Iceman Cometh
Bob Crowley, Twelfth Night
Riccardo Hernandez, Parade
Richard Hoover, Not About Nightingales
Best Costume Design
Lez Brotherston, Swan Lake
Santo Loquasto, Fosse
John David Ridge, Ring Round the Moon
Catherine Zuber, Twelfth Night
Best Lighting Design
Andrew Bridge, Fosse
Mark Henderson, The Iceman Cometh
Natasha Katz, Twelfth Night
Chris Parry, Not About Nightingales
Patricia Birch, Parade
Matthew Bourne, Swan Lake
A.C. Ciulla, Footloose
Rob Marshall, Little Me
Ralph Burns & Douglas Besterman, Fosse
David Cullen, Swan Lake
Don Sebesky, Parade
Harold Wheeler, Little Me
[For more information about the four Special Tonys being given, please see the news story, "Hagen, Miller, Stevenson and Fool Moon To Receive Special Tonys."]
-- By Robert Simonson and David Lefkowitz